Monthly Archives: June 2013
As a leader how do you respond to adversity? Throughout history great leaders handled adversity with calm, strength, and daring. They were there for the people they who looked to them for guidance. How you respond during a crisis will determine how people will view your effectiveness overall.
To lead well during difficult times:
- Be calm
- Stand tall and take the lead
- Lend a hand to those who are struggling
- Reassure people
- Take decisive action
- Stay with your followers
When you do these things people will see you as someone who is standing with them and helping them during the difficult times. Finding ways to improve the situation will help them believe you are there to support them and make things better. These things take compassion, strength and courage. It can be easy to run away, hide behind others and to place blame. These are all signs of weakness in a leader.
Additionally, demonstrating compassion to those who are hit hardest by the adversity will show that you do care about those around you. This must be sincere and genuine concern and caring. False words and assurances without action look good in the moment but do nothing in the long run. The leader who is willing to get down alongside those who need help will end up going the furthest. People want to be heard and to know that leadership cares about their fate. This cannot be done from a corner office; it must be done amongst the workers.
For those who are dealing with adversity but are not formal leaders you too can make a lasting mark on those around you. Be calm, lend a hand, avoid judging, find solutions and focus on the future. These actions will help you and those around you to respond in a positive way to the problems at hand. A positive attitude will be hard to sustain but it will help keep things in perspective. It maybe that the only positive thing you can believe is that eventually it will get better. If so, start moving that direction. Others will follow you.
Adversity strikes all of us differently but as leaders we must respond in a way that will instill trust and faith in our team. Be kind, be sure, be decisive and be there. This is what your team needs right now.
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
Thomas A. Edison
I learned that we can do anything, but we can’t do everything… at least not at the same time. So think of your priorities not in terms of what activities you do, but when you do them. Timing is everything.
A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.
As you start your week and look at all the things that you need to accomplish each day do you feel overwhelmed? It’s easy to get dragged down by all that requires our attention. The key is to get a good handle on what needs to happen and make a plan to get it done. The first step is to identify the important things that must be accomplished this week. Then you have to create space and time to get them done.
To make the most of the time you spend on the important items you must focus clearly on the task at hand. This can be very hard to do in this busy and noisy world. However, there are several steps you can take to help clear the air around you to get things done.
- Know your peak time. When are you most productive? Is it early morning, late morning, or afternoon? Use this time to get the things done that need the most attention and focus.
- Block time on your calendar. Schedule an appointment with yourself to get work done during your peak time. This will allow you time and space to focus your attention on the important tasks.
- Tune out. Close your email, turn off the ringer on your phone, and close any instant messaging programs. This is time to focus so eliminate or minimize distractions.
- Get your energy up. Do something that will raise your energy level. Listen to music that gets you charged up, take a quick walk at a brisk pace, close your eyes and get yourself centered or whatever works for you.
- Just do it. Now that you’ve cleared time and distractions sit down and get to work. Keep your mind on the task at hand and table other thoughts that come wandering in. If needed make a note and get back to work.
- Celebrate completion. Take a minute to relish the feeling of getting it done! Check it off your to-do list and now it’s time to get moving on the next item.
If you start the week with a plan of how and when you will get things done, starting with the important items you will be much more successful in reaching those goals. Know that things may come up that change your plans and force you to reorganize your time. That’s okay. If you have identified the big items to get done you will keep them in your sights and get them done. The smaller, less important tasks will be the ones that move around instead of the important ones. It’s easier to make room for the small tasks than it is the big ones. Start big and work your way down. You will get more done than starting small and working up.
Plan to focus and then work your plan. Have a great and productive week.
Now that summer has officially started have you partially checked out of work? It’s not uncommon for people to get distracted by the thoughts of time off, fun weekend activities, family events, etc. during the summer months. However, as part of a team you need to be fully engaged to get things done. When others are gone you might be covering their tasks in addition to your normal duties so you need to be on top of your game.
How do you get on top of your game when the days are longer and there is more to do outside of work? Here are a few tips to help you stay focused at work, get done quicker and enjoy your time out of the office.
- Plan your work. It’s always a good idea to have a plan for what needs to be done and when, but when you are covering for others it becomes critical.
- Work your plan. Now that you have a plan, follow it. Make sure you look at your to-do list each morning and at the end of the day to ensure you are on track.
- Block time. Create blocks of time, could be 30 minutes or 4 hours, to get the important things done on time. Schedule this time in your calendar so you know you need to focus and get stuff done.
- Stay flexible. Allow time for the unexpected and the new items that are sure to come your way. When you are covering for someone else there are sure to be surprises that need attention, so make room in your plan to handle those items.
- Know your limits. Be aware of how much is on your plate already so when you are asked to take on more work temporarily you know how much time you have to give. If you must cover and it will impact your own deadlines keep people in the loop.
- Get clarity. When asked to take over for someone, be sure you know in detail what MUST be done while they are gone and what would be nice to have done. Plan to handle the musts and if possible knock out some of the nice to haves.
- Be clear. As you ask others to cover for you, be clear on what needs to be done and by when. Focus on getting only the critical items dealt with in your absence. If possible get things done ahead of time, so there is very little for people to handle while you are gone.
- Take lunch breaks. When you are swamped it’s easy to skip lunch to get more done before quitting time. This just leads to additional stress on your body and mind. Take the break! Even 30 minutes away from the computer, phone and your desk will help you recharge for the afternoon push.
- Have fun. Remember getting away from work is a great time to relax, unwind and recharge your energy. Make time to enjoy the important people in your life.
- Show appreciation. Let the people who are covering for you know you appreciate it. We all like to know our efforts are noticed and appreciated.
If you show up and are engaged each day at work you will get more done and it will be easier to take time away to enjoy all the fun things summer has to offer. Avoid mentally leaving the office before you are physically gone. Be there for your team and they will be there for you.
Leadership is working with goals and vision; management is working with objectives.
If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?
It’s my pleasure to once again share with you the best blog posts from the Lead With Giants Community. I’m honored to have been included in this list.
This month’s Best of Lead With Giants is being hosted by Dan Forbes on his blog LeadWithGiants.com . Jump on over there now to see the best leadership blog posts published this month from the Lead With Giants Community.
Here’s the link:
The Best of Lead With Giants
Enjoy the great articles here!